Deaths caused by flu are increasing at an alarming rate across the country. Texas, California and other areas are experiencing increasing numbers of flu cases. The Dallas Morning News reports that 26 people in Dallas County have died from flu-related illness this flu season. The San Jose Mercury News reports a similar situation in the Bay area with 15 recent deaths reported. Both areas also report a sharp increase in the number of people hospitalized with flu related illness. There are long lines everywhere to receive a flu vaccine and many local areas have run out of the vaccine. This year’s flu is predominantly the H1N1 strain or swine flu which makes recovery for those infected more difficult.
During these times of high spread risk, it is important to take extra precaution and practice the basics of proper hygiene.
- If you did not get a flu shot this season, get one now. It can take up to 2 weeks for your body to build up the necessary antibodies to fight the flu.
- Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer when soap and running water are not available. Be aware of the daily practices that can attribute to disease spread such as touching door knobs, the ATM, the gas pump display, your co-worker’s mouse, etc. The flu virus can live on hard surfaces for 24-48 hours and on soft surfaces for 24 hours.
- Avoid touching your face and use the back of your hand when you do. On average, we touch our face 3,000 times per day.
- Keep the relative humidity of the air indoors between 42% and 72%. The likelihood that a virus will spread is 10 times greater (1000%) when the relative humidity is out of this range.
- If you do get sick, you should stay hydrated and stay home! Coming to work sick will not make you a superstar for your employer, and you may become a Super Spreader and infect your co-workers and friends.
Take the easy steps to stay healthy and keep your friends, co-workers and community healthy. Visit www.welloinc.com for more information to stay well during flu season.